Wall St climbs on upbeat US jobs data

US stocks rose in a broad-based rally on Friday as stronger-than-expected job growth last month coupled with muted wage gains left investors upbeat about the outlook for the economy and interest rates.

The NASDAQ Composite registered a record-high close, while the S&P 500 ended just shy of a record-high finish.

The US Department of Labor said that employers last month added 263,000 jobs, which blew past expectations, and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent, the lowest level since December 1969.

Average hourly earnings came in just shy of expectations, indicating muted inflationary pressure.

The data support the US Federal Reserve’s patient stance toward raising interest rates, which is a positive for stocks.

“We continue to have stronger and stronger job growth, and it seems like there’s less and less inflation, which is really odd. You typically don’t see that, and basically what that signals to the market is that the Fed is on hold,” said Jamie Cox, managing partner of Harris Financial Group in Richmond, Virginia. “That could portend for better earnings in the future for companies.”

Boosting the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ, Amazon.com Inc rose 3.2 percent, after CNBC reported that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc has bought shares of the Internet retailing giant for the first time.

The consumer discretionary sector rose 1.5 percent, leading a rally among the 11 major S&P sectors.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 197.16 points, or 0.75 percent, to 26,504.95, the S&P 500 gained 28.12 points, or 0.96 percent, to 2,945.64, and the NASDAQ Composite added 127.22 points, or 1.58 percent, to 8,164.00.

For the week, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ rose 0.2 percent, while the Dow slipped 0.2 percent.

With nearly 400 S&P 500 companies having reported quarterly results so far, three-quarters have topped profit estimates, according to Refinitiv

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